Growing Pains

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I have been assigned my yearly task by my grandmother of getting my Christmas list together for distribution to whichever unlucky cousin drew my name this year. I did so today, and given that Christmas is pretty much all about being a celebration of childhood and pretty lights for me, it served to highlight some of the changes of adulthood:

It is now hard to think of things to put on a list! I now dislike putting big and/or impractical things on my list because I know I’ll have to pack and move them the next time I change dwellings. None of the things I put down are toys. Very few of the things I put down are fun.

I actually started thinking about signs of becoming a grown-up right after Halloween, when a friend said that she must be growing up because she’ll now eat the Special Dark chocolate pieces in the Halloween candy. I polled more friends, and here’s the list we came up with:

  • Last time I drove to the beach (4 hours), I listened to NPR all the way there.
  • I now read non-fiction books for fun.
  • I plan out all my meals for the week and write a grocery list accordingly, rather than just going to the store and seeing what looks good.
  • I looooove carbonated water. Better than still.
  • I enjoy watching HGTV.
  • 1-2 years doesn’t seem like a long time to wait for something.
  • I’d rather eat a good apple than candy.
  • I no longer want to steal sugar packets from the cafes and eat them all in one sitting, because I’ve done it and all it did was give me a headache.
  • I miss homework because I know it helps me learn.
  • I prefer mustard to ketchup on my hot dog/bratwurst/grilled sausage of choice.

So, dear reader, what were/are your signs that you’re becoming a grown-up? Add to the list!

-posted by Dana

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10 Responses to Growing Pains

  1. Mary says:

    I think it was back when I started getting excited when we would buy a new appliance, like a refrigerator, washer/dryer, oven, stovetop, and , God help me, a new sump pump. I’ve had two appliances go on the blink while my husband’s been away, and now that I’ve overcome my initial frustration, I’m beside myself with glee that I get to buy a new wall oven and perhaps a washing machine. Of course, that means my laptop computer has to fall further down the wish list again.

  2. derepi says:

    I think 10 pm is a perfectly reasonable, if a bit late, bedtime. 7am is a delightfully late sleep in time.

    I buy clothes based on how easily I could bare either breast if necessary.

    My ordinary day clothes are a button-down and nice slacks.

    I worry more about publishing than I do about The Man.

  3. poetloverrebelspy says:

    Derepi, I’m guessing not in a Janet Jackson way, either? 🙂 Or maybe Miss Jackson has finally grown up too!

    A certain geek (anonymity shall be preserved to protect the innocent) mentioned recently that after spending time with their mother over the holiday weekend, they realized how they are becoming like their mother in certain ways. The growing up part is also realizing that there are lots worse things to be like!

    Another friend of the blog mentioned recognizing her mother was a person with feelings.

    What about hanging up posters and photos in frames only?
    Thinking about and using eye cream
    Taking vitamins religiously
    Cultivating a garden
    Physical injuries and dental problems taking on life-long dimensions
    Clipping coupons

  4. Molly says:

    Thanks for the shout-out, Hil!

    Man, this is just about my favorite topic EVER. I am so interested in generational signposts and milestones. It seems that, as a generation, we’re maybe more aware of the progression of our lives and the lives of our friends than, say, our parents or grandparents were, thanks to online communities like Grinnell’s PLANS, myspace, facebook, blogs, and so forth. Look at our posts: eight years ago, it was one-upping each other over who was the drunkest over the weekend, complaining about papers and professors, mournful song-lyrics about our passionate unrequited loves. Now we post about politics and 401Ks, the economy and Roth IRAs and the housing market, weddings and babies and turning into our parents. Go into the archives, and see yourself grow up.

    Isn’t it great?

    I confess, however, that it would all be much more terrifying without you all; thanks for sharing.

    ps. two fantastic things about being a grownup: ice cream for breakfast, and taking your shoes off whenever you want.

  5. […] to basics A few days ago, I wrote about signs of adulthood over at Geek Buffet. One sign a friend contributed to the overall list was, “I miss homework because I know it […]

  6. Dana says:

    I just thought of another one!

    At some point, I started writing with pens over pencils almost exclusively.

  7. Roy Huggins says:

    1-2 years doesn’t seem like a long time to wait for something.

    I love this one! I’ve thought about this many times. It occurs to me that this is how we age faster, though. 1-2 years isn’t necessarily a long time to wait, but after it’s done you’re 1-2 years older.

  8. kidsilkhaze says:

    You’re know you’re an adult when:
    1. You have serious conversations about life insurance and whether you have enough.
    2. Staying home on a Saturday night to watch PBS’s British TV? Perfectly normal!
    3. Thinking about your will and what will happen to the few assets you have.
    4. *Not* having ice cream for breakfast, even though you can.

  9. I will second the “using frames for all pictures” instead of just blu-tacking it all to the wall as a surefire sign of adulthood. Being excited by the Ikea opening up down the road seems to be another. Wishing that someone would tell those obnoxious teenagers two cubicles over to turn down their loud music and then remembering that they are the early twentysomething new hires is a bit of a shock, too. Learning that pain hurts when you fall down was a bit of a surprise – I’d never noticed that before.

  10. poetloverrebelspy says:

    kidsilkhaze, you’re lucky — our PBS shows Lawrence Welk Saturday nights. That is another category of old entirely 🙂

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